Former Wimbledon champ (and doping suspendee) Maria Sharapova’s memoirs come out in September. People (by way of Metro UK) got a hold of an excerpt in which Maria addresses her long-running professional feud with tennis superbeing Serena Williams. Maria says that beating Serena at Wimbledon in 2004 resulted in the tennis legend referring to her as a “little bitch.” Maria got off lucky. She could have shared the same fate as one of Serena’s racquets! Continue reading
When it was first reported back in March that Maria Sharapova had failed a drug test, her three biggest sponsors – Nike, Porsche, and Tag Heuer – all suspended their contracts. They didn’t de-friend her on Facebook, so to speak, but they did send her a message that said “Hey! Let’s hang out after your doping investigation is over!” They wanted to see how this whole banned substance situation panned out before they made any permanent decisions.
Yesterday, the International Tennis Federation announced that they have hit her with a two-year ban after an independent panel agreed that she should be held responsible for taking meldonium, a drug that was put on the banned list last year. Nike is apparently a loyal bitch when they want to be, because even though Maria isn’t allowed to play for two years, CNN says they’re not dropping her. Nike released this statement regarding their relationship with Maria:
“Maria has always made her position clear, has apologized for her mistake and is now appealing the length of the ban. Based on the decision of the ITF and their factual findings, we hope to see Maria back on court and will continue to partner with her.”
Maria has been sponsored by Nike since she was 11 years old (she’s 29 now). Her current contract with Nike is worth a reported $70 million over eight years. Maria used to be the biggest-earning female athlete in the world, but that title now belongs to Serena Williams.
As for her pals at Porsche and Tag Heuer, well…they’re not exactly as ride-or-die as Nike. Tag Heuer says they’re “not in a hurry anymore to sign a new contract today or this month.” Porsche is waiting to see what happens when Maria appeals the two-year ban, adding that they will “continue to keep all activities with her on hold until the final judgment has been reached.”
There is one sponsor that never left Maria’s side through all of this, and that’s tennis company Head. Head said back in March that they would be sticking by Maria, despite testing positive for a banned substance, and they’re still sticking around after she got a two-year ban. That’s good. If RuPaul has taught me anything, it’s that there’s only one answer to the question: “How’s your head?” and it’s not: “Well, they’re not sending me free shit anymore.”
But first, let me answer the question in your head: No, that is not Ben Affleck in the background to the right. That dude’s chichis aren’t nearly as plump and calzone-esque enough for him to be Batffleck.
A few months ago, 29-year-old professional tennis player and gummy candy mogul Maria Sharapova announced that she was told by the International Tennis Federation that she had to temporarily put down her racket after she tested positive for a banned drug. Maria admitted to taking some shit called “meldonium,” which was put on the ITF’s banned list last year. The ITF banned it because they said there’s some evidence that athletes use it as a performance-enhancing drug. Maria said that her doctor prescribed her the drug for a magnesium deficiency and she’s been taking it since 2006. In January, the ITF sent out an e-mail of all the banned drugs for 2016. Maria admits to getting the email, but said she didn’t read it. I bet Maria has hired a full-time e-mail reader to read every line of every e-mail she gets, because that temporary suspension has become a 2-year ban.
Nike, Porsche And Tag Heuer Have All Backed Away From Maria Sharapova After She Admitted To Failing A Drug Test
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova, who I just learned yesterday is not the same person as Anna Kournikova (yes, all blond female Russian tennis players look the same to me), held a serious press conference where she admitted that she got a huge F on a drug test after a banned drug called “meldonium” was found in her system. Maria says that she’s been on that shit, which is legal, since 2006 after a family doctor recommended she take it for a magnesium deficiency. This past January, the World Anti-Doping Agency officially added meldonium (also known as mildronate) to their banned list, because they had evidence that some athletes were using it as a performance enhancing drug. Several athletes have already gotten into trouble from taking it. In January, WADA sent out an email saying what drugs were added to the banned list for 2016. I guess one of meldonium’s side effects is “screws with your ability to read emails,” because Maria admitted to getting the email, but she didn’t read it.
Maria failed the drug test on the same day she lost to Serena Williams at the Australian Open. The International Tennis Federation announced that she’s been provisionally suspended from competing, starting on March 12. They’re going to investigate her ass and if they determine that she took the drug as a performance enhancement, she could get hit with a 4 year ban. Maria getting temporarily suspended is, of course, messing with her money. Maria is one of the highest-earning female athletes and Fortune says she made $23 million from endorsements alone in 2015. Serena, who has more championships, reportedly earned $13 million from endorsements. Several of the brands Maria has deals with have already pressed the pause button on their relationship with her.